Experience of individuals with unconsummated marriage in Iran: A qualitative content analysis


Background: Sex is one of the important aspects of marriage and a way of expressing intimacy. Unconsummated marriage is a common problem whose prevalence is about 1.5% in Iran and can significantly influence marital life.

Objective: This study aimed to assess the unconsummated marriage in a qualitative mode to offer new and beneficial solutions resulting from a better understanding.

Materials and Methods: In this qualitative study, conventional content analysis was used. Data collection and analysis were done from April 2013 to April 2014 with 11 women and 5 men participating, who were referred to the sexual disorders clinic of Tehran Psychiatric Institute and Rasool Akram hospital of Tehran, Iran. The researchers examined the files of people referred to these clinics with the diagnosis of unconsummated marriage. Our tool for data collection was a semi-structured interview. 2 experienced faculty psychiatrists recorded all the information based on standards for reporting qualitative research guidelines. Data were analyzed using qualitative technique and coding. Guba and Lincoln criteria was used for data validity.

Results: The codes of the participants’ experiences were classified into 6 main categories, which include self-concept, intrapersonal factors, partner’s problem, preparedness for sex, emotional relationship between couples, and the effects of unconsummated marriage on the participant’s life.

Conclusion: Significant experiences among women included excessive anxiety toward the society and their spouses, and among men were weakness and guilt. Being unable to have sex negatively affected their view of life and caused great harm to their selfperception. Participants personality traits and their self-concept, and attitude toward their partners were important issues.

Key words: Consummation of marriage, Iran, Sex, Marital sex, Marital relationship.

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